Worldly Pleasures: Dress, Music, Dancing, Art

Bernard Capp

in England's Culture Wars

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641789
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191744228 | DOI:
Worldly Pleasures: Dress, Music, Dancing, Art

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Many social and cultural practices and traditions, though legal, were viewed by reformers with varying degrees of disapproval. Puritans deplored vanity and extravagance, while approving of civility and decorum. The chapter surveys campaigns to curb excesses in male and female dress and hair-style. It then examines the position of music in public ceremonial life and in the social and cultural life of London and the provinces. It explores too how musicians found a livelihood now that many traditional forms of patronage and employment had disappeared. Music and dancing remained generally acceptable in the context of polite and genteel society, but were condemned in the context of ballad-singing and plebeian dancing in alehouses. The chapter ends with a brief survey of puritan attitudes to art, and the position of artists in the interregnum.

Keywords: puritans; dress; hair; music; musicians; ballads; dancing; art

Chapter.  12742 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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